Things Former Help Desk GAs Said About Their Experience Turned into Motivational Posters

We’re hiring for Fall 2021! Curious but uncertain about supporting tech? Former iSchool Help Desk GAs wanted to share their experiences with you as you consider if the Help Desk is the assistantship for you! A little more information on this opportunity: this is a 50% appointment, and we are hiring for multiple positions. No tech support skill required–just a love to help others and an affinity for cute pets. A PDF containing the job description and a link to the application is attached below. Applications are now due on Monday, April 12th, 2021.  Application PDF

Former Help Desk graduate assistants share why YOU should apply to be on Team Awesome! 🙂

Two brightly colored markers on paper, keyboard, plant and coffee mug overlaid with quote from former Help Desker: "I was nervous about working at the Help Desk since I had absolutely no formal “tech support” experience. Thankfully, if you are pursuing your degree at the iSchool, you are probably already interested in solving problems and helping people. That’s basically the Help Desk in a nutshell!" glases on top of notebook next to laptop overlaid with text from former Help Desker:  "Your searching skills will be unmatched and you’ll learn to be an effective communicator. Not to mention, the staff, faculty, and students you help are some of the kindest and coolest people around. Same goes for the supervisors and the coworkers. Go Team Awesome!" Opened books overlaid with quote from former Help Desker: "I mention my experiences at Team Awesome in every job interview I have and even have my first book contract thanks to this assistantship. I could go on and on, but it all sums up to BEST GRAD SCHOOL GIG EVER. THANK YOU TEAM AWESOME!" Laptop with someone typing overlaid with the quote from a former Help Desker: "Being on #teamawesome was one of my top 5 life choices! I made awesome friends (three of which came to my wedding years later), learned amazing troubleshooting skills that I use in every job I have and figured out what I liked best about librarianship (helping people and wearing funky hats)." Hands on laptop keyboard, a bouquet of flowers, a notebook, a cookie overlaid with quote from former Help Desker: "Being a part of Team Awesome made my experience as a grad student unforgettable! Hands-on experience, great teamwork, free food alert, making snowflakes and chanrios.. Team Awesome has them all! Apply and join our team!" Light Bokeh overlaid with quote from former Help Desker: "It is truly one of the best teams I have been a part of and one of the best environments I have worked in. Everyone is supportive, cares about your success, and is willing to help you when you need it, both for work things and anything going on in your own life. " Pink flowers with computer keyboard overlaid with quote from former Help Desker: "You will get to know the iSchool community and feel more connected to your school. I loved being able to help instructors across the school who I may not get to take classes with, as well as the staff of the iSchool who keep the school running. " Soft focus buildings at sunset with light bokeh overlaid with quote from former Help Desker: "Working at the Help Desk ended up being one the best parts of grad school for me, and I regret that I didn't apply sooner. Even though I started later, everyone immediately made me feel like I was part of the team and I quickly became friends with the other GAs. " Sunset over water with dock overlaid with quote from former Help Desker:"You will become close with other members of the team. Though I've graduated, I still regularly talk to my friends from the Help Desk. You will learn a lot of new things, but you will also have a lot of fun." Writing utensils, glasses, computer keyboard and coffee cup overlaid with quote from Former Help Desker: "I was worried about not having enough technical skills, but everything I needed to know I was able to learn on the job. I was worried about the skills I gained not transferring to libraries, but the reference, customer service, and troubleshooting skills you gain will help you in any library position. There is flexibility to pursue projects that are relevant to your own career goals." Pink flowers overlaid with quote from Former Help Desker: "Partly due to the pandemic and partly due to enjoying this assistantship, I decided to primarily apply to educational technology jobs. I'm currently working for ATLAS on campus doing Moodle support and I am certain that I would not have gotten this job without the skills I gained and the connections I made from this assistantship."

With any questions for current GAs feel free to reach out via Tech Chat and with questions for either the Help Desk Fulltimer staff or GAs you can reach us at our email: help@support.ischool.illinois.edu.

We look forward to meeting you!

We’re Hiring!

Hello, everyone! The help desk is hiring graduate assistants! This is a 50% appointment, and we are hiring for multiple positions. No tech support skill required–just a love to help others and an affinity for cute pets. A PDF containing the job description and a link to the application is attached below. Applications are due on Monday, April 5th, 2021.

Application PDF

Commencement Season is Almost Here!

Alma in graduation robes

Congratulations on making it to the end of your iSchool journey! This blog post will go over the steps necessary to make sure you’re all set for graduation.

Degree Conferral – Required

First, make sure your name is added to the degree conferral list. This step is essential to make sure you graduate and is due March 31 for May conferral! From Self-Service, select “Graduation” and then click “Apply to Graduate.” From here, you will follow the prompts until you can hit “Submit Request.” To make sure that you have done this successfully, go back to the “Graduation” page and select “View Active Graduation Applications.”

Near the end of the semester, you will receive an email from Peggy Ames, which will tell you if you have completed degree requirements, if you’re on track, or if you still have items missing for graduation.

The Office of the Registrar will email you on April 22 and May 6 with information about Diploma mailing.

After June 15th, your degree conferral information will be on your transcripts and you can then order copies of your final transcript. If you need verification of your degree before this, not to worry! You can contact Penny Ames and give her details of what you need.

If you are planning to continue your education at the iSchool, you can find more information here.

University Commencement – Optional

This campus-wide ceremony confers degrees to every Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctoral, and Professional candidate. With the sheer number of people of graduating, you will not be individually recognized, but will stand as a group at your seats to be recognized. This is completely optional for iSchool graduates.

This year, Commencement is Saturday May 11 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. in Memorial StadiumHere are all official details. If you want to participate, register for the ceremony by April 24 and order academic attire (same as the attire for the iSchool Convocation) by April 11. You can pick up your tickets for guests at the Illini Union Event Services Window starting on February 27. You must pick up and return your academic attire at the ARC gym 1 p.m. at the times listed at this link.

On the day of Commencement, MS and Advanced Certificate candidates should report to Memorial Stadium by 9 a.m. and Doctoral candidates to ARC gym by 8:30 am. They ask that you don’t bring anything with you, as you cannot carry anything during the procession and there is not a secure place to leave it. If it rains, you will get a poncho to wear over your attire since you cannot bring umbrellas.

MS and Advanced Certificate candidates will sit as one group, while Doctoral candidates will sit as another. Everyone should wear their hoods into Memorial Stadium. You will rise as a group as the the President confers the degrees.

Additional information for students can be found here.

iSchool Convocation – Optional

Information Science Banner

This is our convocation specifically for the iSchool, where you will be individually recognized! This year, it will be held on May 12 at 4:30 pm in Foellinger Auditorium. This ceremony is also optional!

Register for the ceremony here by April 24 and order your academic attire by April 11 (if you already have attire for the Commencement ceremony, you don’t need to place another order). Pick up your tickets in Room 112 of the iSchool from April 1-29. You are allowed 5 tickets – contact Christine Hopper by April 29 if you want to request additional tickets. You must pick up and return your academic attire at the ARC Gym 1 at the times listed at this link.

On the day of Convocation, arrive at the Foreign Languages Building (707 South Matthews Avenue, Urbana) by 3:30 p.m.. Wear your academic attire, and note that there is no place to store personal belongings. Check-in and line-up starts at 3 p.m., and you will receive a card with your name and pronunciation, if you provided this when you registered, which you will hand to the reader before you cross the stage. Staff will let you know where you should line up in alphabetical order.

If you have a disability and require special assistance, email Christine Hopper or call (217) 244-5600 to make arrangements.

Parking information can be found here.

A photographer from GradImages® will take photos as you receive your diploma cover and proofs will be mailed to you if you grant permission when you register for the ceremony.

Afterwards, there will be a reception in the Charles & Millicent Marshall Library Gallery in the Main Library for graduates and guests.

Doctoral Hooding

Registration is open for the University’s Doctoral Hooding Ceremony, and you should have received an invitation to register! It will take place on Friday, May 10 at 11 a.m. in Foellinger Great Hall at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. The university-wide Commencement ceremony does not include doctoral hooding, but the iSchool convocation does. More information about the ceremony and registration can be found here!


The iSchool Help Desk wishes you the best of luck in all your future endeavors!

Information adapted from the iSchool Wiki and the official Commencement site.